Community investment needs to be a two-way street

The community needs to help make sure a store can be successful.

SHARE Community investment needs to be a two-way street
Emma Morales, 52, from Oak Lawn, walks to her car with a cart full of groceries that she bought at 50% off on the parking lot of Whole Foods in the Englewood neighborhood on Nov. 11.

Emma Morales, 52, from Oak Lawn, walks to her car with a cart full of groceries that she bought at 50% off on the parking lot of Whole Foods in the Englewood neighborhood on Nov. 11. The grocery’s Englewood branch closed its doors the following Sunday.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

The past few years, there have been a lot of stories about grocery stores opening in food deserts. OK, there is nothing wrong with that. When a store closes, there are cries of betrayal and even racism. There is something always left out in these stories. In America, businesses strive to make profits. When they don’t, they close. There is nothing unusual about that. 

Too many in the communities affected seem to believe that this does not apply to them, that the businesses are required to stay open as a step toward social progress. It doesn’t work that way. If a store is a flop financially, it means that the other stores in the system must support them. Not too many business entities will live with that.

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So, what is needed? The stores need to be successful. Investment needs to be a two-way street. The community needs to help make sure a store can be successful. There needs to be a continuity in employment of responsible employees. Stores in this situation have sometimes claimed large losses from theft and shoplifting. There needs to be store loyalty.

In other words, stores in this situation are not going to be successful without more help from the involved communities.

Laurence Siegel, Manteno

Follow the leader

One of the very first lessons a leader has to know is that leadership starts at the top. It may be a simple phrase but it’s a reality that often separates the good leaders from the clueless.

How easy it was for Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot to blame her security detail for parking in a bike lane, while she fetched doughnuts inside a favored bakery.

How refreshing it would have been for her to acknowledge, “Heck, that’s my security detail and I take full responsibility, and I apologize to those we inconvenienced and promise it will never happen again.”

Bob Angone, retired Chicago Police lieutenant, Austin, Texas

Respect those who protect

It is quite telling that Mayor Lori Lightfoot has publicly blamed her bodyguard detail for parking in the bike lane where she had obviously wanted them to park and wait. And aren’t these the same people who responded a few months back when an offender in possession of a firearm was close to the mayor near Millennium Park?

This mayor is hardly the first one to utilize a double standard in judging those who serve and protect, but as a self-styled “reformer” she should certainly know better. Lightfoot’s bodyguard detail put themselves at risk to protect her, and are owed a public apology for this debacle.

David L. Milligan, Portage Park

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